Randal Shayne

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Poll of the Week: What tech is next?

It can be difficult to imagine a Starfleet that is even more advanced than what it is today. Already, ships can fly at preposterous speeds, massive arsenals can be unleashed, and vast starships can be protected from seemingly anything that can be thrown at them. Humanity has proven that collaboration can bring about an age of prosperity and progress hitherto undreamt of. 

Even now, that progress continues, highlighted by the introduction of the Warp XV engine and the designing of new vessels at the hands of our Advanced Starship Design Bureau. Even so, it seems that despite our capabilities, there are a plethora of mitigating factors that can throw crews for a loop. The shields are never quite strong enough, or are easily circumvented. Phasers, though powerful weapons, barely put a dent in some of the stronger foes the fleet has faced. Ships are constantly suffering from hull breaches, explosive decompressions, and rocks being blown out of consoles. 

The list goes on and on. Fortunately for us, the research division of Starfleet is always in motion, bringing new and better technologies to our fingertips, but they need your help! Your experiences in space are absolutely vital, and they want to hear from you.

With that said, this week’s poll asks you to name the area of technology you want Starfleet R&D to study most urgently! Do you think our ship designs and materials need to be advanced? How about our weapons? Perhaps amenities aboard need improvements- nothing like a holodeck failure to take you out of the moment! Or maybe you want to fly past even Warp XV.

Head to the forums to vote in the poll now, and be sure to leave a comment below the poll to tell us your thoughts!


Poll of the Week: Exchange Officer Opportunities!

Starfleet has always been about exploring, and looking for similarities among differences, and embracing that which is unknown. As a result, from time to time, Starfleet officers are offered a rare opportunity- the chance to serve, in a temporary capacity, aboard a ship or instillation from another power. This is a truly special opportunity- representing the best of the Federation, while working on bridging cultural divides, is a prospect suited to only the finest officers.

Naturally, your characters would all qualify (wink).

So the question I have for you is this; what alien service would your character be most interested in joining? Would the confined, barren darkness of a Klingon warship suit their fancy? How about the spartan interiors of a Jem’Hadar beetle?

Perhaps you’d prefer to serve with a species not listed? Give us your vote, and explain away in the comments section!


Poll of the Week: Pick Your First Officer!

Congratulations! Starfleet Command has seen fit to request and require you to take command of the illustrious USS Insert-Overly-Used-Starship-Name-Here. This is a proud moment for us all, but the challenges are just beginning. Your first command decision must be the selection of a crew from scratch, and what crew selection could begin without bringing on an executive officer?

You have a variety to choose from; each is willing to serve under you. Spock, a half Vulcan, is renowned for his effective performance and coldly logical approach. Will Riker maintains that devotion to duty, but appreciates much more informal surroundings. Kira Nerys, a former Bajoran freedom fighter, is known for her quick temper and tough-as-nails constitution. Chakotay, though having resigned previously from Starfleet to fight with the Maquis, is a kind soul wrapped in a stern countenance. T’Pol, a Vulcan woman, has begun to explore her emotions, and attempts to integrate them into her otherwise uninhibited reasoning.

This week’s poll asks you to name your choice. It should be a decision that reflects your personal idea of what a first officer should be, and how you’d want yours to behave and look at situations.

Head to the forums now to vote in this week’s poll, and be sure to comment in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Best of Quark?

If there was a single recurring character that (at least upon first glance) seemed to embody the very antithesis of Star Trek’s sweeping vision, it would be Quark. The scheming, capitalistic, sexist Ferengi is truly despicable from the very beginning of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and shamelessly displays his materialistic mindset at every turn. Even so, over the course of seven seasons, Quark managed to work his way into the hearts of viewers. His development throughout the series is undeniable and one of the many treats audiences were able to enjoy. What was once a mostly shelved idea for a villainous species was given life through Quark and his fellow Ferengi characters. His popularity is best exemplified by the numerous episodes that had Quark as a focus. Though some of them were truly malignant (looking at you, “Profit and Lace”) the vast majority were effective, meaningful, and often hilarious.

This week’s poll asks which Quark moment or episode you found most enjoyable.

Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll, and be sure to let us know below the poll what you think!


Poll of the Week: Most Controversial Series (Besides Discovery)?

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Star Trek: Discovery has been enormously polarizing, both for critics and the dedicated fanbase. The controversy stems from almost every part of Discovery itself; the appearance, the story, the characters, and much more.

For all the debate it creates, Discovery is hardly the first Star Trek series to stimulate some level of discord. The Original Series was the first of its kind, both in story style and in presentation. The racial equality, ethical musing and divisive political perspectives presented made it a bold and, in some cases, threatening television show. The Animated Series generally featured decent stories, but the animation itself was a turnoff for some of the audience. The Next Generation was greeted with disgust and apprehension from many old school fans, who couldn’t believe that it would match the original. Deep Space Nine’s grungier, darker tone bucked the utopian staple that Star Trek so firmly clutched. Voyager and Enterprise are both loved and hated by various fans, mostly for the content and direction of their stories.

So which series did you think was the most controversial?

Click here to head to the forums to vote on this poll, and be sure to leave your comments below the poll.


Poll of the Week: Best Movie Soundtrack?

The best soundtracks in films are those that match and enhance the ambiance and themes presented on the screen. In this regard, Star Trek composers have had a particularly difficult job: how do you compress wonder, mystery, and beauty into small auditory snippets?

Fortunately for us fans, it seems that each movie in the Star Trek franchise has been graced with a phenomenal musical accompaniment! Whether it’s the introspective, grand and powerful themes from The Motion Picture, or the pulsating, action-filled tunes from the nuTrek movies, there’s something for everyone.

This week’s poll asks you to name your favorite movie soundtrack. Head to the forums now to register your vote, and let us know what you chose in the comments section below!


Poll of the Week: Best Wedding?

Whether you’re throwing rice at the bride and groom or beating them over the head with Ma’Stakas, weddings are generally happy occasions, and symbolize a sacred union between two people. From the first (aborted) marriage of Robert Tomlinson and Angela Martine aboard the Enterprise NCC-1701, to the long-awaited conjugation of Deanna Troi and William Riker, Star Trek has a long tradition of showing such ceremonies on the screen. Each has taken a different tone, different visual style and, of course, different participants.

This poll asks you which of the many marriage ceremonies shown on screen was your favorite. Did you enjoy the Japanese-styled ceremony of Miles O’Brien and Keiko Ishikawa? Or were the somber, aggressive overtones of Worf and Jadzia Dax’s wedding more to your taste? Perhaps the less than romantic civil union imposed upon Quark by the widow Grilka struck the right tone.

Click here to vote now on the forums and explain your choice in the thread below the poll!


Poll of the Week: Most Interesting Parent/Child Relationship?

It’s rather surprising to realize just how many relationships in Star Trek are principally parent/child based. In most cases, these connections between beloved characters has yielded fantastic character building episodes, while often posing intriguing philosophical questions. Since the first episode to feature an example of this trend, TOS’ “Journey to Babel”, in which Spock must confront the burden of command and the needs of his family, a long standing tradition has been maintained. Whether the relationship exists for a short time (such as in the TNG episode  “The Offspring”) or for the length of an entire series (Benjamin and Jake Sisko), they almost always manage to add heart to a show that can sometimes feel clinical and dry.

This week’s poll asks you which parent/child relationship in Star Trek you found most interesting. Give us your vote by clicking here to head to the forums. Be sure to comment below the poll!


Poll of the Week: What was your favorite TOS actor appearance?

There are an enormous number of inter-series cameos in Star Trek, and more often than not, they’re delightful treats, designed to connect and further flesh out a universe so massive it might otherwise become tangled and unfollowable.

Quark and William Riker have enjoyed a number of these appearances, but for this particular poll, we’ll be focusing on those moments where characters from The Original Series were featured in later shows. Dr. Leonard McCoy’s tour of the Enterprise-D is the first of these shown in the pilot episode for TNG, later followed by Ambassador Spock and his attempts to reunite the Romulan people with their Vulcan brothers in “Unification Parts I and II.” The discovery of Montgomery Scott’s shuttle on the Jenolan Dyson Sphere was the focus of the TNG episode “Relics.” Sarek (featured in the aforementioned episode, shortly after appearing as a titular character in the previous season of TNG) helped to connect the old to the new, and to pass on a well-known legacy. Finally, in one of the most popular episodes of Voyager, Hikaru Sulu and Janice Rand, shown in a memory as the captain of the Excelsior, provide excellent background information into Tuvok’s past, while adding some much need variety to the show’s stories.

So which of these appearances was your favorite? Did we catch all the top appearances, or did we miss one?

Head to the forums now to register your vote in the poll. Be sure to add a comment after you vote!


Poll of the Week: Best Shore Leave Episode?

For all the work they do exploring and saving the Federation from endless threats, it seems our beloved crews don’t get anywhere near enough shore leave. But when it is shown, the results is excellent television.

With the first episode to fit this bill – aptly titled “Shore Leave” – a precedent was set. “Shore Leave” itself is often lauded by fans as a fun romp, and a standout of TOS’ first season. “Captain’s Holiday” features uptight and work-addicted Jean-Luc Picard become embroiled in a time-bending adventure on Risa. “Family” from TNG’s fourth season, follows the events of “The Best of Both Worlds”, and gives the audience a rare and cherished glimpse of characters dealing with the consequences of previous events. Incidentally, this is the only episode in all of Star Trek canon that does not include a scene on the bridge. Enterprise follows this trend twice – once with the episode entitled “Two Days and Two Nights” in its first season, and another entitled “Home”, which features Enterprise crew members dealing with the personal issues following the conclusion of the Xindi conflict.

While there are other episodes that mention or feature shore leave, these are those predicated around it. With that in mind, which shore leave episode is your favorite?

Head to the forums now to register your vote. Be sure to drop a comment in the thread below the poll!


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